Snow closes some South Island roads

August 8, 2022 10:00 am

[Source: 1News]

A winter cold snap has brought snow and road closures to some parts of the South Island.

By 9am on Monday morning, there had been seven significant weather-related road closures in the central and lower South Island.

These were SH1 Hundalee near the intersection with Claverley Road due to snow and ice, SH8 Tarras to Omarama (Lindis Pass) due to heavy snow, SH85 Kyeburn to Alexandra due to heavy snow, SH8 Fairlie to Twizel due to snow and ice conditions, SH85 Palmerston to Kyeburn due to snow, SH1 Dunedin to Waitati due to icy conditions and SH87 Outram to Kyeburn due to snow.

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State Highway 1 from Dunedin to Waitati reopened around 7.30am, but motorists are urged to be careful in the icy conditions, Waka Kotahi said.

“Remember to switch on your lights, increase your following distance, and be prepared for unexpected hazards.”

SH1 Hundalee near the intersection with Claverley Road reopened around 8.30am.

A strong wind warning is in place for SH6 between Hokitika and Makarora, with extra care urged for those driving caravans, campervans, high-sided vehicles and motorbikes.

Ski fields were also affected by the snowfall, with Mt Hutt ski field closed today due to an “omnipresent avalanche hazard on our access road,” according to the ski field’s website.

“We have received 35cm of new snow overnight and snow showers are forecast to continue with a further 20cm possible by late afternoon.”

MetService said the risk of further significant heavy snow in Southland and Otago has passed, but they warned the heavy snowfall would continue into the afternoon for other regions.

“Heavy snow is still expected in Canterbury and Marlborough until Monday afternoon, and a heavy snow warning remains in force for these regions.

“People are advised to keep up to date with the latest forecasts in case further watches and warnings are added.”

Looking ahead to this week rain is forecast for central New Zealand, according to MetService.

“On Tuesday, rain in a strong, cold southeasterly flow affects central New Zealand; while over the north of the North Island a trough brings a period of rain.

“During Wednesday, rain in a strong southeasterly flow continues to affect central New Zealand.

“The unsettled southeast flow on Thursday continues to bring rain or showers to eastern areas of both islands, with the showers becoming more confined to eastern areas of the North Island on Friday.”